Patients on immunomodulators, including biologic agents and new small molecular inhibitors, for cutaneous disease, represent a potentially vulnerable population during the COVID-19 pandemic. There is currently insufficient evidence to determine whether patients on systemic immunomodulators are at increased risk of developing COVID-19 disease or more likely to have severe disease. As such, clinicians need to assess the benefit-to-risk ratio on a case-by-case basis. In patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 disease, all immunomodulators used for skin diseases should be immediately withheld, with the possible exception of systemic corticosteroid therapy, which needs to be weaned. In patients who develop symptoms or signs of an upper respiratory tract infection, but COVID-19 is not yet confirmed, consider dose reduction or temporarily cessation for 1-2 weeks. In otherwise well patients, immunomodulators and biologics should be continued. In all patients, and their immediate close contacts, the importance of preventative measures to minimise human-to-human transmission cannot be overemphasised.
Keywords: COVID-19; Janus Kinase Inhibitors; biologic agents; biologics; ciclosporin; dermatolology; immunomodulators; methotrexate; systemic steroids.
© 2020 The Australasian College of Dermatologists.